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tv   HAR Dtalk  BBC News  August 14, 2018 2:30am-3:01am BST

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this is bbc news, the headlines: president trump has bitterly attacked the former white house diversity advisor, omarosa manigault newman, after she released a recording she says proves that mr trump didn't approve of her being sacked. the president said everybody had hated her, and he's only kept her on because she flattered him. as the taliban batter afghan forces in ghazni, hundreds are dead. it's still not clear who controls this key city. bbc sources on the ground say there is still fighting going on and nearly 100 soldiers have died. the turkish lira has contined to plunge in value. the white house says it's closely monitoring turkey's financial situation but denies that new american tariffs on turkish metals have caused the crisis. president erdogan has accused the us of stabbing his country in the back. just after 2:30am. your arm to date
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with the headlines. time now for hardtalk bash your up to date. bash yourup to hardtalk bash your up to date. bash your up to date. welcome to hardtalk, i'm stephen sackur. four decades ago, daniel 0rtega was a latin american revolutionary at war with a corrupt autocracy. now he stands accused of defending his own autocracy in the face of a popular revolt. several hundred anti—sandinista protestors are believed to have died in the last four months, but power remains firmly in president 0rtega's hands. hardtalk‘s stephen sackur speaks tojuan sebastian chamorro, a leader of the opposition alliance. has the window of opportunity for change in nicaragua already closed? juan sebastian chamorro, in managua,
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welcome to hardtalk. thank you very much, stephen, for having me on your programme. we've been watching events very closely for the last four months in nicaragua, we have seen the street protests, we have seen the violence and we have seen thousands of nicaragua and is demanding an end to the presidency of daniel 0rtega. but i'll be honest with you, it looks as though those protests have run out of stea m. though those protests have run out of steam. would you agree?” though those protests have run out of steam. would you agree? i would not agree. i think this is a process thatis not agree. i think this is a process that is going to take time. 0bviously you're talking about a
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dictator that's been in powerfor 11 yea rs, dictator that's been in powerfor 11 years, 11 years of violations of rights, write to mobilise, right to speak, write to vote, and the reason why we have this national revolt against this dictatorship is because people are really tired of this situation but obviously you're talking about a dictator which has com plete talking about a dictator which has complete control of all branches of government, has the complete control of the national assembly, of the supreme court, of the police, of the paramilitary, who are at his service firing live ammunition at the protesters defending themselves with slingshots and rocks. we never expected this to be an easy task. we're talking about a government that has used repression in the cruellest manner. and, you know, it's taking the time that it could take... so much in what you just said, i'm
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sorry to butt in, but there's so much in what you've just said i need to sort of explore a little bit. number one, you use the language of 0rtega being a dictator and in the recent past you've compared him correctly with anastasio somoza, the infamous dictator who was toppled in 1979 in nicaragua. 0f infamous dictator who was toppled in 1979 in nicaragua. of course there's a fundamental difference, daniel 0rtega wins elections, the last won a thumping great majority in 2016, so this is an elected president, the isn't a dictator like antonio somoza. that is true if you think the elections were honest and clean, but there is ample evidence that not only the election of 2016, but at all collections since 2008, presidential elections and regional elections, have been the result of electoral fraud. that's the elections, have been the result of electoralfraud. that's the reason why people are protesting on the
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streets because we've been denied our right to vote. the jit a must see is a big question here because it's true there were elections in 2016, but international observers have been denouncing irregularities in election processes since 2008. to bring a change here we need to reform the electoral system as well, that's why the civic alliance for justice and democracy is demanding free and clean elections next year. we'll get to your demands in a minute but let's just look at what has happened in the last few months. april be 18th was the key date when these protests really kicked off after the government's pension reforms produced at this groundswell of opposition which of course thousands took to the streets. let's look at what's happened since. no
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doubt there's been a egregious exa m ples of doubt there's been a egregious examples of government paramilitaries using force against protesters, but in recent months we've also seen protesters using arms and home—made mortars against government forces, which does rather question what is happening on the streets, whether this is simply a question of civilian protesters or a militarised opposition. no. it's been people from all walks of life, workers, business leaders, students who are putting barricades on the streets of managua and other cities to defend themselves against these paramilitary forces that are in pickup trucks firing live ammunition. and as i said, these protesters have been defending themselves with slingshots and home—made mortars. that might be the
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only tool that they are using to defend themselves. 0n the 13th ofjuly, for example, in a commune, more rico in nicaragua, we had clashes in which four police officers were keeled and just one protester. —— morrito. this is ligers coming from the nicaraguan centre for human rights —— figures —— killed. it was notjust one—sided violence. yes, there was plenty of violence. yes, there was plenty of violence coming from the paramilitaries and violence coming from the pa ramilitaries and the violence coming from the paramilitaries and the people loyal to the government but there was plenty of violence going the other way too. i would not discard any information regarding people trying to defend themselves against the paramilitaries, so to defend themselves against the pa ramilitaries, so it's to defend themselves against the paramilitaries, so it's probably that people on the other side were trying to defend themselves and now with respect to the four officers who were assassinated, no clear
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evidence who actually did it. but you are right, we're talking about four months of repression and it's expected that some people might defend themselves, that is something normal. but the offensive movement from the paramilitary, especially by mid—july, was clearly almost a military operation against mostly unarmed people, and that's the reason why the barricades were erased in a matter of days. reason why the barricades were erased in a matter of dayslj reason why the barricades were erased in a matter of days. i wonder for you, and it has to be said... again, sorry, there's a time delay, mr chamorro, so it's a little difficult, but i put this to you, you're an established economist, you're an established economist, you're an established economist, you're a leader of the civic alliance, you come from an elite family, a very respected, co mforta ble family, a very respected, comfortable background in nicaragua, but many of the people you've been encouraging to take to the streets
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are students, poorer people, people worried about their social security benefits and they are the ones in the line of fire and yet you keep telling them to keep up the street protests, to keep up the street action. do you think that is really action. do you think that is really a responsible position for you to ta ke a responsible position for you to take given what is happening on the streets 7 take given what is happening on the streets? absolutely it is, that's the only way that we can put pressure on the people on the streets, i myself was on the streets, i myself was on the streets, was on the streets yesterday in a protest and i will be on wednesday. you have to understand that this is a national revolt by all kind of people, not only stu d e nts all kind of people, not only students and people from the working sector. this is an entire country trying to demand change. 0ne sector. this is an entire country trying to demand change. one thing that has been fundamental in our call for protest is they have to be peaceful, they have to be in the most peaceful manner, try to express
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our demands of bringing a change to the country, try to bring democracy. i think it's completely responsible, the civil resistance, the marches, the civil resistance, the marches, the strikes, all types of protests, as long as they are peaceful to express the demands for change, i think they are absolutely valid and coherent with a strategy of bringing pressure to the government to simply accept what is natural in most countries of the world, and that is having free elections. i want to get to your political platform and proposals injust i want to get to your political platform and proposals in just a second, but one last thought on the nature of the clashes right now, a very interesting letter in the guardian newspaper in the uk sent to the paper from a guardian newspaper in the uk sent to the paperfrom a resident of guardian newspaper in the uk sent to the paper from a resident of messiah in nicaragua saying this, he had
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witnessed public buildings and the houses of government supporters being burned down by testers, shops being burned down by testers, shops being ransacked it, businesses and banks and schools being closed because protesters had taken over the town. the police station was put under siege. are you now here on hardtalk prepared to condemn what some of the protesters out on the streets in your name are actually doing? absolutely, we are condemning any kind of violence, wherever this violence comes from. this is not the solution to our problem. you see, we're talking about a president, 0rtega, who is very strong on arms so completely it doesn't make any sense at all to conduct armed activities or violent actions to overthrow a president who has demonstrated he is strong with arms. so our cause is a peaceful cause. we
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are condemning any kind of death if, for example, the death of these four officers is clarified, we will be the first to condemn because we believe that the loss of lives, nicaraguans, regardless their position, whether they are a police officer or protesters, should not occur ina officer or protesters, should not occur in a country like nicaragua for the reason we're asking. we're just asking forfreedom, for the reason we're asking. we're just asking for freedom, democracy, for a change and no single life should be lost as a result of this protest. i tell you what this reminds me of, it reminds me of the situation in venezuela over the last 12, 18 months. we have seen a series of popular protests against the maduro government, at times, thousands and thousands of venezuelans on the streets, violence, loss of life, particularly among civilians, and at times a
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feeling they were getting close to bringing the government down but, of course, they never did. the reason they didn't was because the security forces, including the police, the paramilitaries and of course, ultimately the armed forces, the army, stayed loyal to maduro and all the indications are there that same loyalty from the security forces to the government of daniel 0rtega, loyalty from the security forces to the government of daniel ortega, and if that's true, you cannot win. that's relatively true. in the first case, you are right that the armed forces, the military, were loyal to maduro. in the case of nicaragua, the army had decided to stay neutral, not to intervene, not to go to the streets. so that's one difference. the second one is venezuela is a rich country in resources , venezuela is a rich country in resources, poorly managed obviously, but it's a rich country in oil. nicaragua doesn't have any natural resource that would allow the government to stay afloat with a
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huge amount of resources. that's another difference. the third difference is we are entering into the fourth month of protests already and the protests continue. they are large, they are all over the place, and the fourth difference is in nicaragua we have almost twice as much dead people as in venezuela. and remember, nicaragua is only 6 million people country. that's true. that's a big difference. that's true but one other similarity you have with venezuela is the opposition isn't coherent, isn't united and doesn't have a simple message. if you look at your own message, you have talked about insurrection. you have talked about insurrection. you have could compared anastasio somoza with 0rtega have could compared anastasio somoza with ortega and said we need to rid ourselves of this dictator. 0thers in the opposition have just said we wa nt in the opposition have just said we want the promised to get new elections and some time this year,
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then you've got the catholic church involved and their calling on both sides to ramp down the rhetoric and ca rt sides to ramp down the rhetoric and cart startle king each other in a serious way. nicaraguan people have no idea what the opposition‘s objectives are, can you help me? no, i think what i am saying is that we need a change. that 0rtega is a dictator. i think everyone is clear about by the he behaves. the only way that we can bring change here at is through the democratic process, free elections, that is precisely the position of the civic alliance and the position of so many people. that is the reason why we haven't seen that is the reason why we haven't seen natural combats, people defending and killing with heavy ammunition and the process. we, as nicaraguans, believe in a democratic
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solution, in elections. i don't see discrepancies are differences from my colleagues at the allianz or even the opposition. i think it is overall, i believe that the only all —— only way we can provoke a change is to bring pressure on the streets and bring it to the table the national dialogue that has been suspended since the end ofjune and tried to convince the government that the only solution here is to continue the dialogue and bring the anticipated elections to 2018. i think that is the general demand from the nicaraguan people. you keep saying the nicaraguan people, as though they are united behind your demands. but of course they are not. we'll see the demonstrations mounted by the sandinistas. talking about the achievements —— the achievements of 0rtega. you have had economic growth for several years. we have
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the least crime ridden a stable society in central america, compared with some of your neighbours nicaragua has been a success in recent yea rs. nicaragua has been a success in recent years. daniel 0rtega has made a point to working with the business community. 0rtega's achievements are not inconsiderable. many people in nicaragua think he had better stay in power rather than have you guys muck things up. well, i think you quys muck things up. well, i think you guys are muck things up. well, i think you guys are right in the sense that the economic situation was moving relatively well, but everything changed, stephen, in april. we have a completely different country now. we have the economy in ruins. we have entire sectors, like tourism, 1 million —— million people from abroad came out, from the uk and elsewhere, to visit nicaragua... with respect, that is in many ways your fault. you are the one who told the protesters to put the barricades up, which has ruined transportation links within nicaragua, you are the
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one who has consistently called for people to take to the streets so we see all of these images on our tv screens of violence and instability in nicaragua. who can you blame but yourselves for the fact that international investors and tourists don't want to go to nicaragua? we didn't ask anybody to put barricades on the streets. the civic alliance for justice on the streets. the civic alliance forjustice and democracy was an organisation formed after the revolt. so in that case i think, i think probably you need more information about the process. the civic alliance was formed after the revolt as a counterpart to the government trying to find a solution. we never asked people to defend themselves against the paramilitary. they themselves did it because they saw people being killed on the streets of managua and elsewhere. the situation of the barricades, the robots, it is the reparation that came from the all
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court from the 0rtega government. this was a completely spontaneous movement from all cities of nicaragua, so the economic crisis we are suffering is not the result of someone are suffering is not the result of someone asking the people to put barricades on the streets. more than 200,000 jobs have been lost in the last four months, it is the reparation of 0rtega. it cannot be blamed on the protesters. the protesters are working from day one. people have the right to go to the street and tried to defend the rights not to be killed. so the only responsible for the crisis we are suffering is the government of 0rtega not the people who are defending the rights in the streets. do you think it is wise for you to have made such a public call for the united states to expand its sanctions on nicaragua? you revised so many memories of us interference in nicaraguan affairs going back to
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the late 1970s and 80s and the reagan administration's support for the contras. many nicaraguan scomber last thing they want to see if the us trying to dictate what happens in your country. yet you seem to be welcoming i —— welcoming it. let us be clear about this. you have repeatedly called for more us intervention in nicaragua. you want to be targeted sanctions expanded to more members of 0rtega's family, you say that the imf should stop giving any assistance to nicaragua for the time being because it will only help the 0rtega regime. everything you say, number one, invites, hang on, invites more us intervention and will do more damage to the nicaraguan economy. and i agree. that is why we haven't issued any state m e nts that is why we haven't issued any statements calling for more sanctions or the imf not lending any money. hang on, i have a
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statement from you juan sebastian chamorro, saying that more sanctions would be needed. that is a big difference, saying that you are asking for those sanctions, when you're sanctioning individuals, individuals who are responsible for repression, that is a different matter. what we haven't said is that we are in favour of general sanctions against the people of nicaragua, like cutting loans or things like that that will help social policy like health and education. 0bviously social policy like health and education. obviously we are not in favour of those type of sanctions. but when you are incentives for individuals who are responsible for the violations of human rights, obviously we are in favour and they don't affect the general population.
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i sense from your don't affect the general population. i sense from your answers don't affect the general population. i sense from your answers that you know this is very sensitive territory for any nicaraguan. i put on more specific to you. the white house onjuly on more specific to you. the white house on july 30 on more specific to you. the white house onjuly 30 issued a statement saying "us as an out an additional $1.5 billion ——1 saying "us as an out an additional $1.5 billion —-1$.5 saying "us as an out an additional $1.5 billion ——1 $.5 million to wait till a ongoing dirty million—dollar programme to support freedom and democracy in nicaragua, including civil society, human rights groups, independent media". are you receiving american money? not a part of that 1.5 million. 0bviously receiving american money? not a part of that 1.5 million. obviously not. this was made a month ago. the think tank that i am general director, have received in the past funds from different areas for economic analysis and so on. you get money direct from the us government. daniel 0rtega characterises you and others leading the civic alliance as people aiding and abetting terrorism using foreign funds. and when you
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tell me that, yes, you have had some american money, i guess 0rtega will say to his people that he has a point. no, absolutely not. we are, for example, have been working for ten yea rs for example, have been working for ten years conducting economic studies and have received grants from different governments, that is something normal that a thing tank in nicaragua will do. we have been working on economic analysis and on education, health, social security, and we have received funds. we have been very public about it, not only from the american government, but also from the swiss, the germans, from the private sector. that's what ngos do, try to get programmes and conduct economic studies. what the president is trying to do is say that these funds are being used for arming and organising their guitars,
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and things like that. it is not true. from the late 1970s through the 1980s we saw a bitter, horrible, protracted civil war in nicaragua. is it possible there will be another civil war in nicaragua? is it possible there will be another civil war in nicaragua ?|j is it possible there will be another civilwar in nicaragua? i hope not. i hope for this time, for the first time in 200 years of independence, we will pursue a democratic process. that is why the civic alliance for justice and obviously are seated at this table —— and democracy. if 0rtega wants to find a peaceful and democratic solution i think i has still, despite people being assassinated and so on, the opportunity to try to find a solution to the problem. juan sebastian chamorro, we have two an hour. but thank you forjoining me from managua.
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hello there. it doesn't look like the widespread, hot, sunny weather will return soon, but there will be some warmth in the forecast, particularly across england and wales throughout this week. something a little bit cooler, though, at the end of the week. we start this morning on a warm note across central, southern and eastern parts of the country, but always more cloud across the west. but, even so, still double—figure values here as well. so, for tuesday itself, always more cloud across the north and west of the country, that's because of a brisk westerly wind feeding in this moist air off the atlantic. so the best of the dry and bright weather will be in the south and east. we could see the odd heavy shower in the afternoon. to the north and the west, more of a breeze, 17—20 degrees. to the south and east, 24—25, and it will be fairly humid again as well.
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0n into tuesday evening, it will be a dry one for england and wales, eastern scotland. more cloud, though, in the north—west. the reason for more cloud in the north—west, as i mentioned, we've got our weather coming from the atlantic. into wednesday, this area of low pressure will make inroads to create an unsettled day across the north—west corner. more cloud, outbreaks of rain for north—west scotland and northern ireland, perhaps north—west england, and into north—west wales, and with the best of the dry and bright weather in the south and the east corner. the wind arrows are on because it will be a blustery day wherever you are, and certainly in the north—west with the cloud and the rain. that will impact the temperatures, 15—22 degrees. we could make 25, 26, even 27 in the south—east. but then it changes as we head into thursday. that area of low pressure pushes its way south—eastwards. it pushes the cold front across the country as well. it could be quite a wet morning across england and wales, as that band of rain makes its way southwards and eastwards, tending to fizzle out as it does so. but eventually it will clear away, and then behind it will leave cooler and fresher conditions with sunshine and some showers. most of these in the north—west. temperatures ranging
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between 14—21 degrees — so it will be noticeably cooler across—the—board. and then we see another area of low pressure move in on friday, particularly across the north—west of the country. once again, it will be windy. in fact, we could see gales in exposure across the far north—west. 0utbrea ks of persistent, maybe heavy, rain here. the further south and east that you come, the drier and brighter it will tend to be, closer to high pressure in the near continent. again, we will see the split in temperatures — high—teens in the north—west, low 20s in the south—east. so, the week is starting on a warm note in england and wales. as low pressure moves through, it will send some cooler and fresher air right across the board. welcome to bbc news, broadcasting to viewers in north america and around the globe. my name's mike embley.
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our top stories: a scathing war of words between donald trump and his former diversity advisor. he's accused of using racist language. he calls her a lowlife and a loser. the battle for ghazni — as the violence continues, the afghan government says up to 200 militants have been killed in the city after a taliban attack. it is still not clear who controls this key city. they have started fleeing so the situation is fully under control. the white house denies responsibility for the turkish currency crisis. president erdogan accuses the us of a stab in the back. the machines that could prevent irreversible sight loss by diagnosing dozens of eye diseases as accurately as the world's leading experts. we have a special report.
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